'Tis the Season

Sarasota's Best Holiday Shows and Events

There's no shortage of fun ways to celebrate the holidays in Sarasota. Here are our top picks.

By Cooper Levey-Baker November 1, 2023

Editor’s note: Events are subject to change. Please check before venturing out.

A Brave New Wonderland

A holiday spectacular from famed circus star Nik Wallenda and the Circus Arts Conservatory, this show combines circus acts, aerial performances, holiday storytelling and more. Shows run through Dec. 31. (941) 355-9805, circusarts.org

Performers in the Circus Arts Conservatory's Sailor Circus Academy, who will present Candyland


The Circus Arts Conservatory's Sailor Circus Academy presents this holiday show, themed around the classic board game, Dec. 27-30 at the Sailor Circus Arena. Expect plenty of aerial stunts, acrobatics and humor. (941) 355-9805, circusarts.org

A Christmas Carol

The holiday mainstay will be taken up by Venice Theatre through Dec. 20. (941) 488-1115, venicetheatre.org

Christmas Carol Trolley

In addition to offering its normal city tours, Discover Sarasota Tours is offering this holiday-themed trolley tour through Dec. 29. (941) 260-9818, discoversarasotatours.com

Christmas Celebration

Choral Artists of Sarasota performs holiday favorites on Dec. 10 at Church of the Redeemer. (941) 387-4900, choralartistssarasota.org

City of Sarasota Parks & Recreation Department

The city's parks department has several fun holiday events scheduled: the Santa Slam! tennis tournament at Payne Park (Dec. 14), a DIY dessert charcuterie board party at Arlington Park and Aquatic Complex (Dec. 15), the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex's annual holiday party (Dec. 19), an evening of activities that bring together children and police officers at Robert L. Taylor (Dec. 20) and breakfast with the Grinch at Arlington Park (Dec. 21).

The cast of Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls

Florida Studio Theatre continues its tradition of fun, holiday-themed musical performances for children with this show, which features all-new songs about celebrating the holidays in Sarasota. Runs through Dec. 24. (941) 366-9000, floridastudiotheatre.org

Festival of Trees

Holiday ornaments that feature images of Newtown leaders and residents will decorate a tree sponsored by the Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition, designed by Tonya Jones and installed at the University Town Center mall through Dec. 17. thesaacc.com

FST Improv

The troupe offers a comedic, improvised holiday musical titled It's a Blunderful Life on Dec. 23, and New Year's Eve-themed show titled Resolution Rewind on Dec. 30 and 31. (941) 366-9000, floridastudiotheatre.org

Holiday Party

Sarasota Orchestra performs selections from The Nutcracker and other holiday favorites like “White Christmas” and “Greensleeves” at Holley Hall through Dec. 10. (941) 953-4252, sarasotaorchestra.org

Jingle 5K Run/Walk

This fundraising 5K starts on Lakewood Ranch's Main Street on Dec. 15 and benefits the Big Bill Foundation and the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center Foundation. thejingle5k.org

Performers featured in Joyful! Joyful!

Joyful! Joyful!

The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe mixes gospel and pop sounds with classic holiday tunes for this show, which runs through Dec. 30. (941) 366-1505, westcoastblacktheatre.org

Lights in Bloom

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens comes alive at night with millions of twinkling lights at this beloved holiday event, which runs through Jan. 3. (941) 366-5731, selby.org

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Catch the classic holiday comedy on the big screen at Burns Court Cinemas on one day only: Dec. 12. (941) 955-3456, filmsociety.org

New Year's Eve Pineapple Drop Block Party

Downtown Sarasota is the place to be on New Year's Eve, when residents will ring in 2024 by dropping a lit-up pineapple. The block party will include live music, food and drinks, games, a carnival and much more. Takes place Dec. 31, of course. destinationdowntownsarasota.com

'Tis the Season

Fathom Events is offering special screenings of holiday films at various local theaters throughout December. Movies include A Christmas Story (Dec. 10 and 13) and Christmas With the Chosen: Holy Night (Dec. 12-17). fathomevents.com

A Tuna Christmas

A sequel to the play Greater Tuna, this holiday Sarasota Players production features two comedians who perform quick changes to portray a townful of characters. Runs through Dec. 17 at the Players' 1130 Theatre. (941) 365-2494, theplayers.org

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

The hall has a slew of holiday-themed performances coming up: An Orchestral Christmas with Marie Osmond (Dec. 13), A Christmas Symphony by Sarah Brightman (Dec. 14), The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays (Dec. 16), Il Divo (Dec. 20), Celtic Angels Christmas (Dec. 21) and Cirque Music: Holiday Wonderland (Dec. 23). (941) 263-6799, vanwezel.org

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